Our ability to keep ourselves small and negate our achievements is something that constantly surprises me. Comments like, ‘I don’t think I’ve done any interesting stuff’ or the rejection of a genuine compliment with a dismissive ‘Oh, this is just an old skirt’ or ‘I need to lose 5kgs’ are just some of the examples that have recently popped up in conversations with people I care about.
I’m not a paragon of virtue in this area either. I can be just as dismissive of my own strengths, talents and attributes. It’s an unhealthy habit and one I’m trying to break.
Australians have long been taught that we shouldn’t get too ‘big for our britches’. The tall poppy syndrome, where we try to keep others ‘in their place’, has long been part of our culture. Our capacity for self-deprecation is also very common indeed. But when I hear people bring themselves down I wonder, is it really healthy to make ourselves small when there are enough reasons to be pulled down in this world?
I often find myself repeating in my head, anything is possible if you believe. It’s become a bit of a personal mantra for me. But this habit of keeping ourselves small works in direct opposition to that. So I have this internal struggle of believing I can achieve what I long for, while being undermined by the fear of pushing myself forward. It’s a bit of a challenge to negotiate this conflict.
Unfortunately, other people often play a role in supporting this idea that we should not stand out too much. One friend was recently told that she should tone down her resume after she reached a certain level in a recruitment process because she’d (in a nutshell) ‘already stood out to get to that stage anyway and didn’t need to do that anymore’.
Hmm. I say a big fat ‘no’ to that one. Standing out and being who you are is a good thing. Being truly yourself, being authentic and going for what you want is absolutely what you should be doing. Living the essence of you, your purpose, is what you’re here to do. It’s not about ramming how great you are down everyone’s throats. Instead it’s about claiming the fabulousness that is you. But you can’t do that if you don’t acknowledge that you have unique gifts and skills no one else has. Because there is no one else on this planet who can do exactly what you do in the way you do it.
So the next time you think, ‘I haven’t done anything that great’ step back and give yourself a little credit. And the next time someone gives you a compliment say, ‘thank you’ and know you deserve it.
You don’t have to make yourself small to keep other people comfortable. That’s not what you’re here to do. You’re here to shine. So gather your courage, step into the light and say, ‘Here I am Universe and I’m going for it!’
I’ll be here cheering you on from the sidelines.
Would you like to learn more about living your purpose and using your intuition to make the right decisions for you? Check out my intuitive mentoring and life purpose sessions at lucretiaswords.com I’d love to help you on your journey.